Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

 

I have been inundated lately by articles about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is subject very much on the minds of many, many women.

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.) 

These writings cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – Part 2

By, Pamela Cytrynbaum 

For a wide range of reasons, men are less likely to have a tight-knit group of friends like that. But that group is apparently the key to everything. We know this, right? All of us who have found ourselves face down, kicked in the teeth by life, we all know the gals on speed dial who will come running. Often, you don’t even have to call them. They just know and show up.

I remember lying face down on the floor of the intensive care unit ‘family consultation room,’ as my brother lay dying a few feet away. The room was dark. As I wailed and sobbed I didn’t hear the door open.

Out of nowhere I felt a palm press deep into the middle of my back, stopping my sobs long enough to let me breathe. I looked up, and there was the same friend who picked the spinach out of my teeth before we went on stage in the high school variety show 30-something years before; who can tell you what my bangs were like in middle school and what I wore to prom; the same friend who painted my toenails the night before my wedding; who performed at our baby naming ceremony; who comforted me through a divorce; who has talked me off more than a few ledges than I care to remember; who remembers far more about me than anyone should ever have known to begin with.

She appeared, like an apparition, on the floor of that awful, bleak room in that awful ICU, at the darkest moment of my life. And she quite literally had my back. She is one of a handful of amazing best friends I consider my BFF team. Each one has come to my rescue and I have come to theirs, over decades, through it all.

I’m not one of those optimistic midlife women Gail Sheehy wrote about. I’m pretty convinced things will be fairly lousy fairly often. But I’m also convinced it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens, I’ll never have to go through it alone. I know there is a group of women who will somehow find out, who will drop everything and rescue me.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

I have been inundated lately by articles about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is subject very much on the minds of many, many women.

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.) 

These writings cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – Part 1

By Pamela Cytrynbaum 

A new poll says midlife women are far more hopeful than men because we have best friends, the close-knit group of girlfriends who have our backs: “…Girlfriends are the bedrock. The most optimistic women have an inner circle of anywhere from four to a dozen friends who ‘have their back’ and will drop everything to help in a crisis.”

This will come as no surprise to any midlife woman whose close circle of girlfriends keep her afloat. It wouldn’t be much of a newsflash but the person writing about it is Gail Sheehy, the famed author of 15 books who has no peer in chronicling the changes (‘the change’) women go through. Her seminal book, “Passages” is the ultimate exploration of women’s lifecycles.

For decades, Gail Sheehy has been our canary in the coal mine, pushing on ahead to report back to the rest of us what we need to know to live more fulfilling lives. So when I saw that Sheehy had written a piece for USA Today, called “Girlfriends are key to women’s optimism,” I paid attention. And wasn’t surprised.

According to the poll: “Midlife women are flourishing compared with men. Despite the daily gloom of economic predictions, women in midlife are more optimistic about their lives today and five years from now than men are. Surprisingly, 25% of women ages 45 to 55 give themselves a 10 out of 10 on optimism about their future, finds a Gallup-Healthways daily poll of Americans’ well-being. These women have a sense of meaning and engagement. They love learning new things. And they expect in five years to be at the top of a ladder of well-being. Only 17% of men in this age group have the same sunny attitude about their present and future lives. What accounts for this striking disparity?”

Apparently it’s all about the girlfriends we have. If you have a “strong social support and girlfriend circle” you’re much happier, the study team at Healthways Research Center found. It’s great to have close neighbors, fun colleagues, a partner or love interest….but, according to the study: “…girlfriends are the bedrock. The most optimistic women have an inner circle of anywhere from four to a dozen friends who ‘have their back’ and will drop everything to help in a crisis.”

Tomorrow: Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – Part 2

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been inundated lately by articles about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is subject very much on the minds of many, many women.

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.) 

These writings cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

Thoughts on Midlife

By Terry Weber

The original intent of my blog was to share stories of living life more adventurously, and to inspire others to have more fun–especially those midlife folks who somehow lost themselves while raising children and making a living.

But just when is midlife? Average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78. So the halfway point is 39. Coincidentally, in the year preceding a person’s 40th birthday is when many mid-lifers begin questioning the quality of their own lives. However, it seems to me that mid-life is not just one year or one number. There are three general periods of life: the young years, the middle years, and the later years.

If we divide 78 by three, we end up with three stages of 26 years each:

* 0-26 Young years

* 27-52 Middle years

* 53-78 and beyond: later years

So you’re saying to yourself, “27 is middle-aged?”   Yes…if we divide these stages evenly. But we could look at it another way…

* 0-29 Young years

* 30-65 Middle years

* 66-78 and beyond: Later years

These numbers are presented merely to open a few eyes, when in fact, mid-life can be described as more of an attitude than a bunch of numbers. During mid-life, we gain an increasing awareness of our own mortality. We realize that someday we will not be on this Earth, at least not in the same form. We begin re-evaluating the decisions we made that created our current circumstances. Some parents, though they love their children, wonder why raising them was not as rewarding as once dreamt. We wonder why we never knew that relationships were complicated, sometimes hard work, and never like they describe in the fairy tales.

We wonder if there’s more to life than the jobs we tolerate– where we waste away for 40 hours a week just to make ends meet. We wonder if we had any impact in making the world  a better place? What goals were reached? And for some, we wonder about an afterlife…is there one? And will we be punished for our mistakes in the afterlife?

On a related note, I recently accepted a writing challenge. The challenge was to write a poem about midlife in less than 30 minutes—no rules—no matter how messy or “unprofessional.” My result is below.

Untitled

They call it a midlife crisis

I call it an awakening

A realization

That we are more than halfway to Death’s Door

And we have not yet lived.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

 

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

I have been inundated lately by articles about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is subject very much on the minds of many, many women.

 Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.) 

These writings cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

MidLife Crisis: Life Renewed

By Amy Sherman 

When do the trials and tribulations of everyday life turn into a midlife crisis and how do you know you are in it? Good question. It really depends on the degree to which you feel you can handle it. How deep is your inner dissatisfaction? How much has your self-esteem and confidence affected your ability to function?  How often do you second-guess your choices? What’s causing the confusion about who you are or where your life is going?

A true midlife crisis may take years to resolve and you may feel helpless, disappointed, distressed, entrapped or even just bored.  Sometimes you think it’s easier to hold on to your “youth” and just ignore the changes. Getting past the crisis is difficult because it takes much insight, patience and strength to do something about it.

You may be aging, but it doesn’t mean you’re getting old. Midlife is an exciting time. According to Marianne Williamson, “What we have called middle age need not be seen as a turning point to death. It can be seen as a magical turning point to life as we’ve never known it, if we allow ourselves the power of an independent imagination.”

With children older or out of the house, you have the opportunity to spend time on things you most enjoy. Make it a fun time of your life. Even though the crisis is bound to transform you, you will also be transforming what it means to go through midlife. Therefore, set new goals and develop new hobbies. See, explore and discover who you are now. It’s a time for rebirth and renewal. Re-examine your past choices and commitments and revise them into an exciting and different journey ahead. Refocus your time and energy on doing new things that are more important to you, like going back to school or planning an adventurous vacation.

Here are some things you can ask yourself to be sure you are heading in the right direction:

1. Are my thoughts directed on lifelong learning and personal growth?

2. Can I maintain my sense of purpose and be driven to fulfill a certain goal or passion?

3. Do I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I can learn from my mistakes?

4. Do I believe that life is to be lived and that I am entitled to live it through fun and frivolity?

5. Am I attuned to my body so that I practice healthy eating and exercise routines?

6. Do I feel younger than my chronological age and enjoy being around people younger than I am?

7. Can I rely on others to help me get through difficult times that are causing a lot of stress?

8. Do I believe that every year I am getting better and better?

9. Am I able to enjoy a healthy and hearty sense of humor?

10. Am I able to pace myself and find time to smell the roses?

When faced with approaching changes, you need to remind yourself of how well you’ve done before, handling previous crises. You may think you don’t have the strength or the endurance to deal with things this time, but you do. Part of the universal lesson in all this, is knowing that you CAN handle most anything and that things will get easier as time goes on. Shakespeare said, “This, too, shall pass” and it will.

It takes courage and work to face the changes at this stage of your life, but the ultimate result is something extraordinary. You will find that the journey is wonderful and that it reveals a new expression of yourself that embraces your giant leap into living the rest of your life.

 

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.